Upcoming Events

January 30
12:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Integrated System of Household Income, Wealth, and Consumption Data and Statistics to Inform Policy and Research Panel Meeting scheduled for January 30, 2023 (open virtual session) on retirement issues; see this site for more information.

People News

Passing of Al Madansky
We are sad to report that Albert (“Al”) Madansky passed away December 8, 2022, at age 88 in Chicago, IL. He was H.G.B. Alexander professor of business administration emeritus in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he had been a faculty member since 1974. He was previously a research mathematician at the RAND Corporation, senior vice president of a large advertising agency, president of a computer software and data processing firm, professor and chairman of computer sciences at City College of New York, and fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He had a B.A. in liberal arts and an M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Chicago. According to his obituary in the New York Times, December 21, 2022, “Albert Madansky [was] a virtuoso statistician who sought to quantify the risks of accidental nuclear war and the value of stock options and publicly risked his reputation by rating which New York delicatessen served the best pastrami sandwich.” He also participated in the advanced research seminar that produced the path-breaking CNSTAT report on Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodology: Building a Bridge Between Disciplines in 1984, served on the CNSTAT panel that produced The Bicentennial Census: New Directions for Methodology in 1985, and served on the CNSTAT panel that produced At What Price: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes in 2002.

CNSTAT Congratulates Vipin Aurora on becoming Director of BEA
Vipin Arora was named the new director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on December 5, 2022. Previously, Dr. Arora was acting deputy assistant director of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation. He also served as deputy director of the NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). At NCSES, he directed data analysis, information dissemination, operations, human capital management, and multiple special projects.

Before joining the NSF, Vipin led economic analysis at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and he also served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and an analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He has a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, a Master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Australian National University.

CNSTAT welcomes Daniel Ho and Nela Richardson as new members

  • Daniel E. Ho is the William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott professor of law at Stanford Law School, professor of political science, and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He is also associate director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, faculty fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and is director of the Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab (RegLab).
  • Nela Richardson is the Chief Economist at ADP Research Institute, where she also serves as the co-head of the ADP Research Institute and leads economic research for ADP.

Outgoing CNSTAT Members
We thank the following CNSTAT members, whose terms ended in 2022, for their dedicated service to CNSTAT:

  • Janet Currie, Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Jeannette Wing, Executive Vice President for Research and Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Congratulations to Melissa Chiu on her appointment as CNSTAT Director
We are delighted to announce that Melissa Chiu will become the seventh director of the Committee on National Statistics, effective February 25, 2023, succeeding Brian Harris-Kojetin. Melissa C. Chiu has served as deputy director of CNSTAT since 2021, and she also served as the study director for the consensus panel that produced the report A Vision and Roadmap for Education Statistics. Before joining the National Academies, she spent 15 years leading data governance and analytics in the Federal government, most recently as Executive Director (Acting), Director of Analytics, and Director of Data Governance in the Office of Data Governance and Analytics, Office of Enterprise Integration at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She also represented VA as the Statistical Official on the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy and as the Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information (Alternate) on the Federal Geographic Data Committee. Working collaboratively with stakeholders from government, private sector organizations, and the public, she was responsible for leadership and strategic improvements on all aspects of enterprise-wide data governance policy; data management and acquisition for the USVETS integrated database; data analysis and promoting analytical products on Veterans and their well-being. Prior to joining VA, Melissa worked for the Census Bureau, where she expanded and promoted the data linkage infrastructure to increase the use of integrated administrative data in high-quality research for evidence-based decision making. She also oversaw survey data production, analysis, dissemination, and methodological research for varied subjects, including labor force and occupation; race, immigration, and women; veterans; commuting, transportation, and disability; immigration and geographic mobility; and administrative records. She also served on a detail in the Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical and Science Policy Branch, advancing federal statistical policy, particularly regarding the use of administrative records for statistical purposes. Melissa has received numerous professional awards, including for serving on the OMB Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee and chairing 2 workgroups for the 2018 revision, leading production of the Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation 2006-2010, and implementing an industry and occupation text autocoder for the American Community Survey. She recently served 3 years on the Board of Directors for Washington Evaluators, the DC-area local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association. Melissa has a B.S. in mathematics and a B.S in statistics from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in statistics from the University of Washington, and a M.A. and Ph.D. (ABD) in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Brian Harris-Kojetin will continue with CNSTAT as a senior scholar
Brian Harris-Kojetin will step down as the sixth director of the Committee of National Statistics effective February 24, 2023. He has served as director since July 2017, and he will continue with CNSTAT as a part-time senior scholar. He is the co-editor of the seventh edition of Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency. He joined CNSTAT as deputy director in 2015 and also served as the study director for consensus panel that produced the reports Innovation in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy, and Federal Statistics, Multiple Data Sources, and Privacy Protection: Next Steps. Previously he served as a senior statistician in the Statistical and Science Policy Office at the Office of Management and Budget, and as a research psychologist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and he has a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in social psychology with a minor in statistics from the University of Minnesota.

Best Wishes and Thanks to Andy White
Andrew (“Andy”) White retired as senior research statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in December 2022. Prior to his tenure at NCES, he served as the fourth director of CNSTAT from 2000 through 2003, and as deputy director of CNSTAT and as a senior study director. Prior to joining CNSTAT, he was a survey designer, research staff chief, and executive staff member of the National Center for Health Statistics and a consulting statistician with the Michigan Department of Public Health. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Educational Research Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, past president of the Washington Statistical Society, and past chair of the Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association. For CNSTAT, he directed a study on methods for the 2000 census, and contributed to studies on methods for accounting for environmental costs and benefits in the national income and product accounts, and the research programs of the Economic Research Service at USDA. He received a B.A. in political science and an M.P.H. and Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Michigan.

Best Wishes and Thanks to Tara Becker
CNSTAT extends best wishes and thanks to former CNSTAT senior program officer Tara Becker, who rejoined the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Health Interview Survey as a senior research associate on January 1, 2023. Her research in her previous appointment at the Center, which she will continue, addressed disparities in health insurance coverage and access to health care, as well as survey data quality and methodology. While with CNSTAT over the past 4 years, she assisted the Committee on Population and CNSTAT panel that produced the 2021 report, High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working Age-Adults, and directed the CNSTAT panel studies that resulted in the 2022 report, Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation, and Understanding the Aging Workforce: Defining a Research Agenda. She has a B.A. in sociology and mathematics, an M.S. in sociology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Best Wishes and Thanks to Joshua Lang
CNSTAT thanks former CNSTAT senior program assistant Joshua Lang, who took a program coordinator position with another board at the National Academies. He provided vital administrative support to multiple studies and workshops, including A Vision and Roadmap for Education Statistics, Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Mobilizing Information for the Common Good, Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Enhancing Survey Programs by Using Multiple Data Sources, and A Roadmap for Disclosure Avoidance in the Survey of Income and Program Participation. CNSTAT wishes him the best in his new position.

Best Wishes and Thanks to Daniel Weinberg
CNSTAT thanks senior consultant Daniel Weinberg for all his work on the forthcoming report on Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Enhancing Survey Programs by Using Multiple Data Sources. Dan served as the study director for the project, organized the workshop, and contributed to the report. CNSTAT wishes him the best in his future endeavors.

Special Resources

In case you missed it, we have a fantastic new video out about the value of objective national data and statistics. We’re certain you know someone who would like to see it—or better yet, some organization that would like to share it. Will you take 3 minutes to check it out and then send it to a colleague?

Recent Events and Reports

Workshop on Considerations for Returning Individual Genomic Results from Population-Based Surveys: Focus on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, December 2, 7, 8, 2022
Video and other materials available from this site.

Celebrating 50 Years of CNSTAT and Looking to the Future: Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure, October 13, 2022 Video and other materials available from this site.

2020 Census Data Products: Workshop on the Demographic and Housing Characteristics Files, June 21-22, 2022
Video and other materials available from this site.

Toward a Vision for a New Data Infrastructure for Federal Statistics and Social and Economic Research in the 21st Century Workshop 2: The Implications of Using Multiple Data Sources for Major Survey Programs, May 16 and 18, 2022
Video and other materials available from this site.

REMINDER: Slides from previous CNSTAT public seminars are available on the CNSTAT homepage.

Reassessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, a consensus report, chaired by David Savitz (Brown University) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was released October 14, 2022. Free PDFs are available here.

Beginning with the 1990–1991 Gulf War, more than 3.7 million U.S. service members have been deployed to Southwest Asia, where they have been exposed to a number of airborne hazards, including oil-well fire smoke, emissions from open burn pits, dust and sand, diesel exhaust, and poor-quality ambient air. Many service members, particularly those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, have reported health problems they attribute to their exposure to emissions from open-air burn pits on military installations.

In 2013, Congress directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit (AH&OBP) Registry to “ascertain and monitor” the health effects of such exposures. This report serves as a follow-up to an initial assessment of the AH&OBP Registry completed by an independent committee of the National Academies in 2017. This reassessment does not include any strength-of-the-evidence assessments of potential relationships between exposures to burn pits or airborne hazards and health effects. Rather, this report assesses the ability of the registry to fulfill the intended purposes that Congress and VA have specified for it.

Research and Data Priorities for Improving Economic and Social Mobility: Proceedings of a Workshop was released October 3, 2022. Free PDFs are available here.
Since around 1980, fewer Americans than before have been doing better than their parents – that is, more have experienced downward social and economic mobility in occupational status and income. This trend in downward mobility is occurring amidst high and rising levels of inequality in income, wealth, health, and life expectancy. To better understand the factors that influence social and economic mobility, the Committee on Population and the Committee on National Statistics hosted a workshop on February 14-15, 2022. Courtney Coile (Wellesley College) chaired the workshop planning committee. The proceedings from this workshop, prepared by rapporteur Erin Hammers Forstag, identify key priorities for future research and data collection to improve social and economic mobility.

Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Mobilizing Information for the Common Good, a consensus report, chaired by Robert Groves (Georgetown University) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation, was released September 15, 2022. Free PDFs are available here.

Historically, the U.S. national data infrastructure has relied on the federal statistical system and the data assets that it holds. Data and statistics from surveys were essential to what we know about the well-being of the society and economy, and provided an infrastructure for empirical social and economic research. Today, national statistics face both grave threats and, also, a historic opportunity. Declining survey participation poses a severe threat to the quality of statistical information. Yet, at the same time, the country produces unprecedented amounts of digital data about the activities of individuals and businesses.

Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Mobilizing Information for the Common Good is the first of three reports funded by the National Science Foundation to explore the many issues surrounding a new data infrastructure. The report describes the need for a new national data infrastructure, presents an initial vision, and describes expected outcomes and key attributes of a new national data infrastructure. The report also discusses the implications of blending data from multiple sources as well as the organizational implications of cross sector data access and use. The report concludes by identifying short- and medium-term activities that facilitate progress toward the full vision. These tasks provide a possible roadmap that permits progress toward a full vision.

Innovation, Global Value Chains, and Globalization Measurement—Proceedings of a Workshop was released August 26, 2022. Free PDFs are available here.

In recent decades, production processes of intermediate and final products have been increasingly fragmented across countries in what are called global value chains (GVCs). GVCs may involve companies in one country outsourcing stages of production to unrelated entities in other countries, multinational enterprises (MNEs) offshoring stages of production to units of the MNE overseas, or both. GVCs can also involve completely independent companies sourcing their parts from whichever upstream company may be the most competitive, with no control arrangement necessarily involved. The changing global trade environment and the changes in firms’ behavior have raised new and more complicated issues for policy makers and have made it difficult for them to understand the extent and operations of GVCs and their spillover effects on national and local economies.

To improve the understanding, measurement, and valuation of GVCs, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics requested the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in collaboration with CNSTAT to convene a workshop, May 5-7, 2021. Susan Helper (Case Western Reserve University) and Wolfgang Keller (University of Colorado Boulder) co-chaired the workshop planning committee, and Constance Citro, Gail Cohen, and Sean Strunk served as rapporteurs who prepared this proceedings as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop.

Evaluation of Compensation Data Collected Through the EEO-1 Form, a consensus report, chaired by William Rodgers, III (Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis) and sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was released July 28, 2022. Free PDFs are available here.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expanded EEO-1 data collection for reporting years 2017 to 2018 in an effort to improve its ability to investigate and address pay disparities between women and men and between different racial and ethnic groups. These pay disparities are well documented in national statistics. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau (2021) found that Black and Hispanic women earned only 63 percent and 55 percent as much, respectively, of what non-Hispanic White men earned.

Evaluation of Compensation Data Collected Through the EEO-1 Form examines the quality of pay data collected using the EEO-1 form and provides recommendations for future data collection efforts. The report finds that there is value in the expanded EEO-1 data, which are unique among federal surveys by providing employee pay, occupation, and demographic data at the employer level. Nonetheless, both short-term and longer-term improvements are recommended to address significant concerns in employer coverage, conceptual definitions, data measurement, and collection protocols. If implemented, these recommendations could improve the breadth and strength of EEOC data for addressing pay equity, potentially reduce employer burden, and better support employer self-assessment.

See everything in this PDF: CNSTAT January 2023 newsletter